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Denver Public Schools board votes to extend superintendent's contract

Posted at 11:28 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 02:00:59-05

DENVER — The Denver Public Schools Board of Education voted to extend Superintendent Alex Marrero’s contract by two years Thursday night.

Marrero, who was just confirmed as superintendent in May, initially had a contract set to run to June 30, 2023.

In a 5-2 vote, the board approved a motion to amend his two-year contract to a four-year term.

“We have already seen bold and swift action from him as superintendent. Having that positive impact on a district the size of Denver Public Schools requires more than two years. Extending this contract will help Dr. Marrero’s success,” Board President Xóchitl “Sochi” Gaytán said.

Marrero’s original contract included the option for a one-year extension, and the same option still applies under the amended contract.

The move does not change his $260,000 a year salary.

Marrero said he’s “honored” by the board’s decision.

“I am incredibly grateful for the amazing reception and tremendous support I have received throughout my travels in this incredible city," Marrero said. "I will continue to build on what I have learned from the DPS community, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that every classroom within the district prepares all of our scholars for a great future.”

The decision has not been met positively by all, though.

Ahead of the vote Thursday, the Latino Education Coalition said it was disappointed in the board’s decision to bring the motion forward, saying there was a lack of transparency and community involvement. The group also said the decision should not have been the first order of business by the board when it says there are more pressing needs to be addressed, like impacts from remote learning, teacher shortages and cuts to after-school childcare.

“We want to see Dr. Marrero be successful and supported, however, we are troubled by the process and speed by which this decision is being made,” the Latino Education Coalition said in a statement. Before a conversation about a contract extension is to be had, let alone a vote, there should be metrics in place and feedback from DPS staff, community and all impacted parties. Dr. Marrero's contract should not be renewed until we can see progress in student learning, improvement in teacher support and employee well-being.”

Marrero came to DPS from New Rochelle, New York, where he was the assistant superintendent. He was named as one of three finalists in May to replace Susana Cordova, who left for a deputy superintendent job within the Dallas Independent School District after 31 years with DPS.